Which botanical gardens in the UK offer educational tours for children?

There's something magical about botanical gardens. Beyond the distinct scent of fresh flowers and stunning visual display of blooming petals, these gardens offer an immersive experience into the world of diverse plants. For children, especially, a visit to these wonderlands is both a delightful day out and an opportunity for learning. In this feature, we'll explore various botanical gardens in England that provide enriching educational tours for children.

Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum

The Oxford Botanic Garden, located in the heart of the city, is the oldest botanic garden in England and boasts a wealth of plant diversity. Offering an array of educational programmes for school groups, children are introduced to the fascinating world of botanic gardens.

The arboretum, set in a tranquil forest, is a sprawling space to let children explore, find, and learn about different trees. From engaging workshops about plant life cycles to art classes in the garden, there's never a dull moment. It's a perfect destination for a school day out in South England. To make the most of your visit, it's advisable to book the tour in advance.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, situated in south-west London, presents an exciting mix of historic landscapes, botanical glasshouses, and a breathtaking array of plants and flowers.

Children can dive into the world of plants through a range of fun and interactive learning programmes, all tailored to encourage their curiosity. From understanding the importance of bees to exploring the exotic Rainforest House, students leave with a newfound respect for the environment. Kew gardens is an amazing place for children to expand their knowledge and marvel at the beauty of nature.

Eden Project, Cornwall

The Eden Project, nestled in Cornwall, is a world of its own; a true testament to the power of human imagination and ingenuity. It's home to the largest rainforest in captivity, housed within striking biomes.

Children visiting the Eden Project are not just visitors, but explorers embarking on an adventure. The educational tours are carefully designed to inspire and engage young minds, covering a wide range of topics, from rainforest ecology to the role of plants in our daily lives. Visiting this garden is like a day trip around the world, offering children a unique experience they won't forget.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a green oasis amidst the bustling city. With four stunning glasshouses ranging from tropical to arid houses, it's a destination sure to keep the children's attention.

The garden offers educational tours, aimed at fostering a love for plants and understanding their importance. The interactive workshops, led by experienced educators, cover several topics from plant biology to environmental conservation. Beyond the tours, children can enjoy the beautiful scenery, playgrounds and bird aviaries, making it a great option for a day out.

Wakehurst, Sussex

Not far from London, Wakehurst in Sussex provides an escape into the wild. Managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, it houses the Millennium Seed Bank, the world's largest wild plant seed conservation project.

Wakehurst's educational tours offer children an immersive experience in the woodland, wetland and meadows. The aim is not just to teach about plants, but to develop an appreciation for biodiversity and conservation. The vibrant setting and interactive workshops make Wakehurst an ideal location for a school trip.

In conclusion, botanical gardens are not just about their visual appeal; they offer a chance for children to engage with the natural world, understand the intricacies of plant life and develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment. England has a rich selection of these gardens providing educational tours tailored for young minds. So why not plan your next school trip to one of these wonderful locations?

Sheffield Botanical Gardens, South Yorkshire

One of the gems of South Yorkshire, Sheffield Botanical Gardens offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. Established in the 19th century, the garden spans across 19 acres and is home to a diverse range of plants.

One of the key highlights of Sheffield Botanical Gardens is its educational programmes for school groups. These programmes are designed to engage children of all ages, encouraging them to explore the enchanting world of plants and develop a keen interest in biology. The educational visits consist of interactive workshops and tours, tailored according to the age and curriculum of the students.

Upon entering the garden, children are greeted by a sight of colourful flower beds, manicured lawns and stunning glass pavilions. Within these pavilions, they discover a variety of plant species native to different climates, ranging from tropical rainforests to arid deserts. The garden also houses a bear pit, offering a glimpse into the Victorian era entertainment.

The educational visits to Sheffield Botanical Gardens are best enjoyed during normal opening hours. So, plan your visit accordingly to ensure a memorable learning experience for the students.

University Botanic Garden, Cambridge

Located in the heart of the city, the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge is a hub of plant science. It's not just a beautiful place to visit but also a dynamic, living laboratory dedicated to research, conservation and education.

Educational visits at this botanic garden are a blend of fun and learning, providing children an opportunity to delve into the world of plants. The garden offers a variety of workshops, all tailored to the national curriculum and led by experienced educators. From learning about plant evolution to understanding the role of plants in medicine, the programmes cover a diverse range of topics.

Apart from the educational tours, children can explore the Glasshouse Range, home to over 3,000 species of plants from all around the world. The Winter Garden, with its aromatic scents and vibrant colours, is a great place to visit during the colder months.

With its wide-ranging collection of plants and engaging educational programmes, the University Botanic Garden makes for a perfect destination for a school trip in East England.


Botanical gardens in the UK offer a unique blend of education, exploration and fun. From the historic Oxford Botanic Garden to the futuristic Eden Project in Cornwall, each garden provides an invaluable opportunity for children to learn about the world of plants in an engaging, interactive manner. Whether it's the rainforest excursion in Birmingham Botanical Gardens or the journey through time at the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge, every visit promises a wealth of knowledge and experiences that go beyond the regular classroom learning. So, plan your next educational visit to one of these fantastic botanical gardens and let the children embark on a journey of discovery and learning.